According to the opposition, fresh elections are the only solution left to the issues faced by the country. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, while laying out the misfortunes of the times, which included the economic impact of the lockdown, first raised the demand for fresh elections in the country and pledged that his party would be able to overcome the sentiment on business, trade and investment. This idea was enthusiastically adopted by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), with PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman promising his party’s support to the demand.

While it is heartwarming to see the opposition parties set aside their petty differences and unite on an issue, the idea is unfeasible. It has been soundly rejected by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), and rightly so; the current crisis is not of the government’s making.

This call is certainly not constructive. It does not seem likely that the opposition is actually expecting or trying to convince the government to be on board with fresh polls – this seems more a means to be relevant in media discourse. While pressure tactics and calls for fresh elections have been a tactic for opposition parties everywhere in the world, what is different is that this demand is spectacularly unhelpful in this vulnerable time, where the government is taking in all considerations to make a decision on lockdown.

There is no reason for fresh polls, the climate is not right, nor would it be logistically possible given that we are now at the peak of our infection curve. The foundation for this demand rests on the lockdown policies of the government but that foundation fails since the opposition has not provided any alternative, nor has it disagreed with the government’s reasons for making the existing policies. Thus, this call for fresh polls seems just another distraction away from the real issues and an exercise in futility.